A £23million project to reinvigorate a business park site – with links going back to the early Industrial Revolution – will receive major funding from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Riverside Business Park, a 225,000 square foot site of industrial buildings, just north- west of Bakewell town centre, is to be redeveloped in three phases to improve access to the site, improve the state of the industrial buildings there and to better meet the needs of modern businesses.
The current Park is on the site of Lumford Mill, built by Industrial Revolution entrepreneur Sir Richard Arkwright in the 1700s. The Mill was destroyed by fire in the mid-19th Century but its site has subsequently been redeveloped for modern industrial and commercial uses.
Thornbridge Brewery and log home builder Pinelog are among companies based there. Expansion and improvement of Riverside Business Park is seen as an opportunity to supply much needed, high quality employment space within the Derbyshire Dales; and boost jobs and subsequent housing growth in the Matlock and Bakewell areas.
The three phase redevelopment scheme, which includes plans for a new bridge, consists of:
- Development of the site’s eastern side for a new Premier Inn hotel and two commercial units, and refurbishment of the Mill Race Building.
- Central area redevelopment, including refurbishment of the historic Retort House and extension of the existing Bakewell Bakery.
- New industrial premises in the site’s western area. Redevelopment of the central and western areas of Riverside Business Park will be supported by the building of a new road link and bridge from the A6.
Funding for the Riverside Business Park project has come from Litton Property Group (which bought the site in 2001 and is based there), set to invest around £20.3m, and a further £3.3m which has just been agreed through the D2N2 Infrastructure and Investment Board.
The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership is the private sector-led Partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. It has been allocated more than £250million in Local Growth Funding (LGF), via the UK Government, to
part-fund infrastructure projects which directly help its area’s economy and create jobs.
Planning permissions have previously been granted for the Riverside Business Park project’s main phases. Construction work onsite is due to begin in July (2019), with the new bridge and access road set to be built between January 2022 and 2023, and all works due to be completed by October 2026.
When completed, it is estimated that the project will have supported the creation of 154 new jobs and safeguarded 113 existing ones, created 131,567 sq ft of additional commercial space for the area and established a new 72 bed hotel. An outline business case for the project was previously submitted to the D2N2 Infrastructure and Investment Board in September 2018.
Elizabeth Fagan, Chair of the D2N2 LEP, said: “True economic growth for our area must benefit all the communities in it, urban and rural. That is why we are investing over £3million in improving this site, working with partners to see its long history of contributing to the
Derbyshire economy extend far into the future.”
Minister for Local Growth Jake Berry MP said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Midlands Engine and building a country that works for everyone. Our £3.3 million investment from the Local Growth Fund to provide a bright future for a site at the heart of the region’s economic heritage is an excellent example of this in action.
"With the creation of over 150 jobs and further commercial space, the redevelopment of the Riverside Business Park will provide employment and business opportunities for local people, helping the historic town of Bakewell and the wider Derbyshire Dales community to thrive.”